The Vatican ruled out Monday that the Catholic Church cannot bless gay unions since God “cannot bless sin,” AP News reported.
The Vatican bans gay union blessing
The Vatican’s doctrinal office forbade priests and other Catholic Church ministers in a document personally verified by Pope Francis to decree blessings on any relationship outside of marriage between a man and a woman.
The two-page long response to a question about whether Catholic clergy can bless gay unions published in seven languages was “negative”.
The document testifies Catholic principles on marriage and sexuality. Whereas, many liberal bishops have demanded blessing gay unions in committed relationships. The head of the German Catholic bishops’ conference was also among those liberal bishops. Religious leaders in Germany have publicly blessed such couples for a long time. So did the priests in other parts of Northern Europe.
The Vatican believes that gay persons should get respect and honor but gay sex is intrinsically disordered. In Catholic teaching, marriage is a lifetime relationship between a man and woman that God plans and creates.
The document stated, “The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan.”
God can’t bless sin
God “does not and cannot bless sin: He blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him,” it said.
Although Francis had approved that gay couples must receive legal protections in same-sex unions. But it was in reference to the civil sphere, not within the church. During an interview with Televisa in 2019, Francis expressed that homosexual people have the right to live in a family. He addressed families with gay kids saying that they can’t make their life miserable for them being gays. Rather we should have a civil union law so that they have legal coverage.
In the new document, the Vatican highlighted the “fundamental and decisive distinction” between gay people and gay couples. It said “the negative judgment on the blessing of unions of persons of the same sex does not imply a judgment on persons.”
This reconfirmation of conventional teaching might disgruntle progressive Catholics expecting further change.